Anyone who’s ever used a laser pointer in the same room as a cat knows that any fast-moving object is pretty much fair game for feline ferocity. Knowing that, it’s hard to imagine exactly what this drone pilot was thinking when allowed the pricey airborne gadget to get within swiping distance of an entire family of tigers. Whatever made him do it, the video is a treat to watch.

The drone, which was being operated by reporters hoping to snag some up-closeup shots of Siberian tigers in China’s Heilongjiang Province, made several low passes over the big cats, immediately piquing their interest. The tigers began following the drone around, slowly at first, but quickly picked up speed as the drone dropped in altitude.

It wasn’t long before the drone pilot came a little too close to one of the cats, allowing it to slap the craft right out of the sky. Predictably, the tigers swarmed on the downed drone and began tearing it apart. Unfortunately, it seems the drone’s battery shorted out from damage and the gadget began billowing thick white smoke, which was enough to scare the tigers off.

It’s undeniably adorable to watch the huge cats act like little kittens at the sight of the flying toy, but it’s also pretty obnoxious that the reporters flying the drone allowed it to get within paw’s reach of being knocked down. At the end of the day, the drone and its pilot got exactly what they deserved.

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